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Pakistan to develop fresh petroleum policy to materialise $12bn Saudi investment

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  • Policy will provide Pakistan way to attract multi-billion-dollar investments.
  • Pakistan, KSA discuss, review areas of mutual cooperation.
  • Two sides agree to hold follow-up meeting next week.

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to facilitate the potential investment of $10 to $12 billion from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan directed the relevant authorities to approve a fresh petroleum policy, The News reported. 

Earlier this week, Islamabad persuaded Riyadh to establish a $12 billion state-of-the-art deep conversion refinery along with a petrochemical complex in Pakistan. 

The petroleum policy will provide Pakistan with a way to attract multi-billion-dollar investments. On Wednesday, different ministries held consultations for finalising draft agreements, which are expected to be signed during the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Pakistan. 

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday held a virtual meeting on the First Joint Economic Sub Committee of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council with Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. 

Minister for Board of Investment (BOI) Chaudhry Salik Hussain, State Minister for Petroleum Dr Musadik Masood Malik, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa and other senior officers from ministries of Finance, BOI, Maritime, Aviation, IT and Telecommunication, Food Security & Research, Petroleum and Power Division attended the meeting.

Both sides discussed and reviewed areas of mutual cooperation and collaboration including energy, industry, mineral resources, commerce, finance, investment tourism, communication information and technology, agriculture, food security, transportation, logistics, maritime, and work to increase trade exchange and investment between the two countries.

“The two sides agreed to hold a follow-up meeting next week to ensure the maximum progress is made in bilateral cooperation in these sectors so that significant agreements are signed during the visit of HRH Mohammed Bin Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next month,” the statement concluded.

Dar reiterated that both countries have an exceptional relationship based on social, political, religious and cultural fronts and the need of the hour was to strengthen mutual trade and investment. Both sides also exchanged views on various measures for achieving a greater level of cooperation and for further strengthening the relations.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud recalled the recent visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and mentioned that both sides showed tremendous political will for enhancing bilateral ties.

The Saudi prince highlighted the depth of relations between the two friendly countries in all fields. It was also shared that both countries enjoy long-standing strong mutual historic, religious and cultural ties.

Meanwhile, Dar offered his thanks to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its commitment and dedication towards the Pakistan government and highlighted the deep-rooted ties between both countries in various fields. 

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Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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Pakistani government raises petrol prices

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A recent announcement states that the price of petrol has increased by Rs 9.99 per litre, to Rs 275.60 per litre.

The cost of high-speed diesel has also increased significantly, rising by Rs 6.18 a litre. Diesel is now priced at Rs 283.63 a litre.

Furthermore, kerosene now costs Rs 0.83 more per gallon.

The cost of products and services is predicted to rise in response to the increase in petroleum prices, further taxing household budgets and jeopardizing the stability of the economy.

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